Car: Dodge Challenger 383 Magnum R/T Hardtop Coupe
What makes it special: Challenger is the name of three different generations of automobiles, two of those being pony cars produced by Dodge. However, the first use of the Challenger name by Dodge was in 1959 for marketing a “value version” of the full-sized Coronet Silver Challenger. From 1970 to 1974, the first generation Challenger was built using the Chrysler E platform in hardtop and convertible body styles sharing major components with Plymouth’s Barracuda model. Introduced in fall 1969 for the 1970 model year, the Challenger was positioned to compete against the Mercury Cougar and Pontiac Firebird in the upper end of the pony car market segment, and was a late response to Ford’s Mustang.
What made it famous: The Challenger was available as either a two-door hardtop coupe or a convertible, and in two models for its introductory model year. The base model was the “Challenger” with either an Inline-6 or V8 engine, as well as a “Challenger R/T” that included a 383 cu in V8. The Special Edition (SE) trim package added a number of appearance, convenience, and comfort items, on either the base Challenger or the R/T. The standard engine on the higher trim models was a 318 cu in V8 with a 2-barrel carburetor. For 1970, the optional engines included the 340 and 383 cu in, as well as the 440 and 426 cu in V8’s, all with a standard 3-speed manual transmission, except for the 290 bhp 383 cuin. engine, which was available only with the TorqueFlite automatic transmission. A 4-speed manual was optional on all engines except the 225 cu in Inline-6 and the 2-barrel 383 cu in V8.
Why I would want one: Well, I have the 2015 R/T Scat Pack version currently, but I would love to have an earlier version of Dodge’s potent performance version of the Challenger as well.
Fun fact: Chrysler intended the new Challenger as the most potent pony car ever, and, like the less expensive Barracuda, it was available in a staggering number of trim and option levels, and with virtually every engine in Chrysler’s inventory